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$60 million settlement approved in EA-NCAA athlete suits

More than 111,000 current and former student athletes able to claim a share of the settlements

Electronic Arts scrapped its collegiate sports franchises years ago, but the legal fights stemming from them continue. As reported by CBS Sports, a US district court judge yesterday approved a combined $60 million settlement for claims originally brought against the game publisher, the Collegiate Licensing Company, and the NCAA by former student-athletes.

The plaintiffs alleged their names, images, and likenesses were used without compensation in NCAA football and basketball games published between 2003 and 2014 (the last title, NCAA Football 14, launched in mid-2013). Those games featured 111,174 athletes pulled from real life rosters, but only a fraction of those have made a claim. A lawyer for the plaintiffs said more than 20,000 people had already filed claims, although additional claims can be made through the settlement's official website through July 31.

Currently, about a third of the settlement will go toward attorney's fees, though that could be reduced slightly, leaving more for the current and former student athletes. Right now, the most any of the plaintiffs will see from the settlement is about $7,200, depending on whether his name, jersey, or photograph appeared in the game, or whether a photograph was used.

Part of this settlement--the $40 million agreement with EA and the CLC--was actually reached in 2013 and approved by a judge last year. The additional $20 million is coming from the settlement of a separate suit against the NCAA.

Current NCAA athletes--400 to 450 of which have already made claims--will be able to accept their money without losing their eligibility to continue playing for their schools.

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Brendan Sinclair avatar

Brendan Sinclair

Managing Editor

Brendan joined GamesIndustry.biz in 2012. Based in Toronto, Ontario, he was previously senior news editor at GameSpot in the US.